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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund Launches 3,000 Reasons to Give Campaign

September 9, 2021 GMT
Rhianna Quinn Roddy, Executive Director of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, along with scholarship recipient Dening Wu-Lohez, and mother of three scholarship recipients Kathy Wisniewski, accept a $115,000 donation from Tina Lee, Chair of Scholarship America, on behalf of Medal Dash for the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund’s 3,000 Reasons to Give campaign kickoff event on Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Rhianna Quinn Roddy, Executive Director of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, along with scholarship recipient Dening Wu-Lohez, and mother of three scholarship recipients Kathy Wisniewski, accept a $115,000 donation from Tina Lee, Chair of Scholarship America, on behalf of Medal Dash for the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund’s 3,000 Reasons to Give campaign kickoff event on Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Rhianna Quinn Roddy, Executive Director of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, along with scholarship recipient Dening Wu-Lohez, and mother of three scholarship recipients Kathy Wisniewski, accept a $115,000 donation from Tina Lee, Chair of Scholarship America, on behalf of Medal Dash for the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund’s 3,000 Reasons to Give campaign kickoff event on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

NEW YORK, Sept. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund® — the largest private scholarship fund for 9/11 families – launched its 3,000 Reasons to Give campaign at a press conference held at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

The campaign is aiming to raise an additional $25 million for the fund to support the remaining 3,000 students whose parents were killed or severely injured because of the attacks on September 11, 2021 or rescue efforts in the days and months that followed. The campaign launch coincides with the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th.

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“One of the most patriotic things you can do during the 20th anniversary of 9/11 is to ensure students whose families were directly impacted by September 11 get the support they need,” shared Rhianna Quinn Roddy, Executive Director of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund “We are calling on all Americans to remember the students who we made a promise to years ago. We need you because nearly 3,000 students still need us.”

Former President Bill Clinton, a Co-Chair of the campaign, also taped a video that was shared at today’s event and said, “Tragically, the number of children who lost parents because of 9/11 continues to grow as more and more first responders lose their lives due to illnesses caused by breathing toxic air during the rescue efforts. We strongly believe that the children of these heroes deserve the benefits of the Families of Freedom Scholarship as well, which is why we are asking we are asking corporations, other organizations, and individuals across America to support them by donating to the Fund.”

The campaign launches with a reaffirmed commitment and contribution from the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, which established its American Heroes Fund shortly after the 9/11 attacks and has used it to support the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund annually in the two decades since.

“The days, months and years following September 11th have been a reminder of how compassionate Americans can be towards one another. In this spirit, 20 years after such an unforgettable tragedy, we are honored to continue supporting the children of those who lost and sacrificed their lives during the attacks,” said Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Ralph Lauren Corporation. “Our children are our legacy. And as we reflect on an incredibly dark and heartbreaking day for our nation, we are grateful to be able to contribute to their bright futures.”

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Additionally, a check was presented to the scholarship fund from Medal Dash, an organization that raised $115,000 via a virtual 9.11-mile run, with more than 8,000 participants in 50 states. Benjamin Moore, the World Journal and MTV have also pledged donations to the fund to support the campaign.

“As a native New Yorker this is an event I’ve wanted to create for Medal Dash for some time, and I couldn’t be prouder of its success,” said Adam Levinson, co-founder of Medal Dash Virtual Runs. “The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund has given us the vehicle in which to execute this in a way that will greatly benefit so many deserving people, while also paying tribute to those we’ve lost in the last 20 years.”

Additional speakers at the event included Tina Lee, Chair of Scholarship America, Kathy Wisniewski, whose three children have benefited from the fund when her husband Alan was killed in the attacks, Dening Lohez, a scholarship recipient who changed careers after her husband was killed in the attack; and a letter was read from former Senator Bob Dole, a Co-Chair of the campaign.

The creation of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund sparked incredible generosity nationwide. With President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Bob Dole serving as fund co-founders, donations arrived from more than 20,000 corporations, foundations, educational institutions, grassroots organizations, and individuals, raising more than $100 million. While the Fund has performed exceptionally, the increased number of illnesses in Ground Zero rescue workers has increased demand significantly and millions more are needed.

To make a donation and support the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, visit familiesoffreedom.org/donate.

About the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund
On September 11, 2001, the unthinkable happened and our nation was forever changed. Every American was hit extremely hard that day, especially children whose parents died or were permanently disabled as a result of the attacks. In immediate response, Scholarship America helped establish the Families of Freedom Fund to support those dependents. The Fund sparked incredible generosity nationwide. With President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Bob Dole serving as campaign co-chairs, $108 million was raised in the initial fundraising effort. To date, the Fund has awarded $182 Million to nearly 3,800 deserving students. Our goal has not waivered over the years and today, we are working to bring the last of the children through college before the Fund sunsets in 2030.

About Scholarship America®
Scholarship America is a non-profit organization that helps students fulfill their college dreams. Since 1958, Scholarship America has distributed $4.3 billion to more than 2.6 million students. The organization works with partners to lower barriers to a college education and give students the support needed to succeed. Learn more at scholarshipamerica.org or familiesoffreedom.org

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SOURCE Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund